David Warner, the Australian batsman, issued a statement on Sunday (July 21), distancing himself from comments made by his brother, Steven, against Shane Watson on Twitter on Friday (July 19). Steven had called Watson a selfish pretender and demanded that his brother be included in the Ashes squad.
Warner, through a statement issued by Cricket Australia, said: "Earlier this week, my brother Steven Warner published a tweet about Shane Watson. Like everyone, he is entitled to his opinions but I want to state categorically that I do not endorse his comments and fully support Shane and all my teammates."
A report in The Telegraph claimed the cause for Steven's ire was Watson's decision to review his lbw dismissal in the first innings of the second Ashes Test on Friday. The review proved unsuccessful, leading to the abusive tweet from Steven. Steven's account was private and could only be accessed by users authorised by Steven. One of Steve's tweets read: "F****** selfish Watson the sooner you are out if [sic] the side you great pretender the better."
These tweets were circulated on the internet early Sunday morning.
As Australia collapsed in the first innings at Lord's, Steven sent out a tweet addressing Cricket Australia (CA), suggesting that his brother, who is touring Zimbabwe and South Africa with the Australia A team, be recalled to the Ashes squad. He wrote: "OK @CricketAus I hope u have a business class seat booked SA to London because its about time u had a batsman there who will have a go."
Steven had backed Mickey Arthur, the ex-Australia coach who wants to take Cricket Australia to court over his sacking, after leaked documents related to the case claimed that Michael Clarke, the captain, had once described Watson as a "cancer on the team".
Using Twitter as the medium, he wrote: "Good on Mickey Arthur finally letting the truth be known and proving he was just an escape [sic] goat #awesomebloke #gentleman."
It isn't the first Twitter incident involving David Warner. He was fined for sending abusive messages to two Australian cricket journalists, Malcom Conn and Robert Craddock, in May.